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Chad - People

In 2011, Chad had a population of 10.8 million people, with an annual growth rate of 2.0 percent, producing a doubling of the population every 35 years. h. Poverty levels are high — particularly in rural areas —, the population is young (45 percent is under 15 years) and expanding by 3 percent per year, and the government is the main source of formal sector employment in urban areas. Between 1990 and 2010, Chad’s population increased by 87 percent.

Chad is a country divided between, on the one hand, a North and a desert and deprived of natural resources center and, secondly, the southern regions of pre-equatorial climate, rich in natural and human resources. The ethnic complexity of Chad does not yet overlap exactly this line of geographical divide. There are more than 200 ethnic groups in Chad. Those in the north and center are generally Muslim; most southerners are Christians or animists. About 80% of the Chadian population is rural. There were over 250,000 refugees near the eastern border from the Sudanese conflict in Darfur in 2012; more than 60,000 Central African Republic refugees in the south; and approximately 130,000 internally displaced persons in eastern Chad.

North and Centre are two-thirds of the country's area, comprising approximately 30% of the total population. These areas are populated by disparate Saharan populations, but all Muslims, belonging to Eastern Saharan and Sudanese language groups (relative to the total population: Toubou: 2.5%; Goranes, Kredas: 4.5%; Zaghawa, Bideyats: 1 5%; Kanembous 8,5%, Ouaddaïens: 15%). Moreover, Arabs, Muslims, occupy three large settlement areas to the north (north-western Kanem), the center (Batha, Chari-Baguirmi and northern Ouaddai) and Southeast (Salamat), representing approximately 14 5% of the Chadian population. Finally, the Southwest, Christian and marginally animist, has the largest population (over half of the Chadian population): it is composed of black African populations belonging to Chad and the Central Sudanese language groups (Sara: 30%; Hadjaraïs 8,5%, Ngombayes: 5.5%; Toupouris, Kotoko, Massas, and other southerners: 9.5%).

Given that Chad is a landlocked country that depends on agricultural, agro-pastoral, and pastoral livelihoods, population expansion will place increasing stress on limited natural resources, especially in the east, where immigration from the Darfur region of Sudan increases competition for resources. Although 27 percent of Chad receives more than 500 mm of precipitation during June–September, per capita cereal production is low compared to other Sahelian countries (166 kilograms per person per year).

An examination of crop statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reveals that this low level of cereal production arises from low yields (729 kilograms per hectare) and a small amount of farmland per person (0.22 hectares per person). Examining the temporal evolution of these crop and population statistics, it is evident that low frequency (decadal) variations in yields show no trend, whereas the decline in farmland per person is continuing at a steady rate. If this decline persists, per capita cereal production will decline by 30 percent by 2025 as the population expands faster than the amount of farmland.

Despite the start of oil production in 2003, 40% of Chad’s population lives below the poverty line. The population will continue to grow rapidly because of the country’s very high fertility rate and large youth cohort – more than 65% of the populace is under the age of 25 – although the mortality rate is high and life expectancy is low. Chad has the world’s third highest maternal mortality rate. Among the primary risk factors are poverty, anemia, rural habitation, high fertility, poor education, and a lack of access to family planning and obstetric care. Impoverished, uneducated adolescents living in rural areas are most affected. To improve women’s reproductive health and reduce fertility, Chad will need to increase women’s educational attainment, job participation, and knowledge of and access to family planning. Only about a quarter of women are literate, less than 5% use contraceptives, and more than 40% undergo genital cutting.

More than 300,000 refugees from Sudan and almost 70,000 from the Central African Republic strain Chad’s limited resources and create tensions in host communities. Thousands of new refugees fled to Chad in 2013 to escape worsening violence in the Darfur region of Sudan. The large refugee populations are hesitant to return to their home countries because of continued instability. Chad was relatively stable in 2012 in comparison to other states in the region, but past fighting between government forces and opposition groups and inter-communal violence have left nearly 60,000 of its citizens displaced in the eastern part of the country.

In terms of the sex structure of the population, the 1964 INSAH survey calculated that there were 90 males for every 100 females; in urban centers, the male percentage of the population rose slightly, to 96 for every 100 women. A small part of this imbalance may be attributed to higher male mortality rates, but male labor migration is probably a much more important factor. The absence of a census or more recent demographic surveys made it impossible to determine if the Chadian Civil War had affected the sex ratio.

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Page last modified: 20-11-2017 19:52:28 ZULU